Scientific name

Maidenia Rendle

Common names




Could be confused with

Egeria, Eriocaulon, Lagarosiphon, Mayaca, Rotala

Native distribution

northern Australia

Species commonly cultivated

Maidenia rubra Rendle (Kimberly Region and Northern Territory)

Adventive distribution


Weed status

not weedy


submersed, rarely emergent, attached stem plant

Brief description

Annual, submersed. Monoecious or possibly dioecious. Stem elongate. Leaves cauline, evenly but densely crowded along stem, seemingly irregularly arranged but spiraling; leaf blade narrow, linear, filiform, with minute spines along margin. Inflorescence axillary, in clusters (whorls) along stem; spathe of 2 united bracts subtends flower(s); male spathe sessile, entire spathe detaching and opening at water surface, liberating numerous small, male flowers; female spathe subtends single flower, borne on pedicel that elongates until flower reaches water surface and opens. Sepals 3 (female flower only); petals absent. Seeds numerous, dispersal by seed.

Natural habitat

commonly found in billabongs (ox-bow lakes), ephemeral streams, swamps, and floodplains

Additional comments

The sole species in this genus, Maidenia rubra is only rarely cultivated for the aquarium trade. Maidenia is closely related to Vallisneria L.